FAIRLEA, WV (WVNS) – While major musicians like Tyler Childers, Jason Isbell and Trey Anastasio take the stage at Healing Appalachia, a multitude of organizations in the recovery community will be passing out resources and information on how to help those who are struggling with addiction.
“Everyone who is here is volunteering their time. Everyone comes together as one to promote everything, and help each other and help others, and show recovery is possible,” said Shannon Metheney, a Shift Lead at First Choice Services in Charleston.
Healing Appalachia is a festival that raises money for, and celebrates, the hard work put in by the folks who work in recovery, especially in the region hardest-hit by the opioid epidemic.
At Healing Appalachia, you will find representatives from West Virginia, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, the Carolinas and other surrounding states, passing out crucial, life-saving tools like Naloxone and Fentanyl test strips.
Carrie Ware with Saint Peter’s Episcopal Community Outreach in Huntington said everyone should carry Narcan.
“They don’t know when they’re going to come across a time that it is going to be needed. This is a disease that does not discriminate, so it’s important to have it for your friends and your neighbors,” said Ware.
While Healing Appalachia does focus a lot on the difficulties of addiction, it is also a celebration of recovery – and a pretty rocking celebration at that.
Tabitha Edwards with Recovery Resources in Johnson City, Tennessee, told 59News her organization brought some residents from their recovery housing program to Healing Appalachia to show them a life without drugs can still be fulfilling, and even fun.
“There is a lot of stigma that recovery is boring and people don’t get to have fun, people don’t get to enjoy life,” said Edwards. “So we get to do this sort of thing to show the guys we brought with us, you can have a good time in recovery. You can be around the community, doing what the community does, and still be able to live sober, happy lives.”